Youth Team goalkeeper Brad Wade spoke to iFollow ahead of Rochdale’s FA Youth Cup First Round tie.
Dale face a trip to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday 31st October (7pm KO), and Wade is excited to get their campaign underway.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Wade.
“It’s a big occasion and a chance to play at a stadium, so it’s a good opportunity for the boys. Everyone is looking forward to it, everyone is up for it in the changing rooms, and hopefully we can come away with a win.
“Everyone wants to do well in the FA Youth Cup. We don’t have many late kick-offs, and usually when we play in midweek we kick-off at 1pm. So, we’re looking forward to playing under the lights. Hopefully it will be a good atmosphere and a good game.”
It will be Wade’s third FA Youth Cup campaign, having played in the competition for the previous two seasons.
“I’ve really enjoyed the competition.
“My first game for the Youth Team was in the FA Youth Cup, and I felt the pressure because it was my first game, but it was a brilliant starter for me to play at Notts County.
“Last year I thought we were a bit unlucky with the Shrewsbury Town game. We beat Ryton & Crawcrook Albion in the first round 7-0, but had a much tougher game against Shrewsbury.
“Hopefully we can make amends for that this year and get off to a good start.”
The Youth Team have faced Stanley twice already this season, with the most recent fixture seeing Dale run out convincing 5-2 winners in the EFL Youth Alliance League.
“That game gave us an idea of the way they play, and what we need to watch out for. It gives us a lot of confidence going into the game, beating them the way we did.
“We took our chances and managed the game really well. The goals we conceded are easily fixable, so we have a lot of confidence going into the game.”
Injuries to goalkeepers Josh Lillis and Brendan Moore earlier this season mean Wade has been training regularly with the first team, as well as being around the squad on matchdays.
“For my personal development it’s been really good.
“Steve [Collis] has been great in giving me loads of help. Josh [Lillis] and Brendan [Moore] have been helping me out a lot as well, so it’s been brilliant and it is all I can ask for in terms of my own development.
“The standard is really high when you’re training with them. Everything has got to be 100% every day. I feel like I’m getting a lot out of it, and it’s really helping me when I’m coming back and playing for the Youth Team.”
You can watch the full interview on iFollow.